On Fitbit low battery warnings

I own a Fitbit Charge 2, which I’ve used for about 2 years now. Before that, I had the original Charge 1 for about a year. I like it a lot – the Charge is a good balance between only-fitness-tracking and full-smart-watch. It syncs with my phone, has a nice app, and lets me share my weekly step data with friends. I also really like the weekly summary email I get from them.

I think this weekly summary email is especially powerful because it’s an email, and not just a notification on my phone. I would ignore or turn off the notification, but that’s not as true with an email. Email also has the advantage of being searchable over time, so I can look back at past weekly summaries easily.

But, what I wanted to write about today was the low battery warnings for Fitbit. It has multiple ways of warning, and I think they’re out of order.

First, it has phone notifications as an option. I have these turned off, as I dislike notifications from apps in general and don’t look at my phone that frequently.

Second, it has email notifications as an option. These are turned on for me, and what I wanted to write about today. This email appears whenever my Fitbit’s battery is below about 25-30% and asks me to go charge my Fitbit.

My Fitbit itself – which is always on my wrist – has not yet warned me (at 25%) that I need to charge it. That doesn’t happen until it gets quite a bit lower and is at risk of shutting off.

This order is strange to me. I’d much rather have the Fitbit’s main screen display a low battery warning at 25-30%, and not email me until it’s much lower. The act of getting an email is a very distant one, compared to a notification on my wrist. I might not see the email for several hours, and might not be near my charger when I do see it.

It’s possible my settings are messed up somewhere, and there’s a magic box to say ‘notify me on the Fitbit first’ (I couldn’t find one, though). And it’s not an entirely bad thing – they’re still notifying me in time so that I can charge my Fitbit.

I just am somewhat surprised whenever I get the emails – they feel like a strange way to contact me, when the device on my wrist hasn’t contacted me in any way. Almost like if I emailed my wife from the dinner table instead of talking to her.